Innocent Sin was originally released to the PlayStation in 1999. Overseas players will presumably be more familiar with part two of the Persona 2 story, Eternal Punishment, as only this was given worldwide release in greatly modified form.
In an interview with Famitsu this week (summed up at this blog), director Shoji Meguro detailed some of the changes that PSP owners can expect from the remake. He promised a game that will maintain all the classic gameplay systems while adding control and interface changes.
One of the goals for the remake, said Meguro, is to make it so that those who played Persona 2 previously will want to play it again. The staff has kept in mind opinions they received about the PSP remake of the original Persona.
Players will notice many of the biggest changes in the battle system. The remade battle system is actually based off the battle system from Eternal Punishment. Explained Meguro, this is being done because the EP battle system was originally made with knowhow gained from Innocent Sin.
Battles will be seeing some balance and presentational changes. Persona and demon strength are being adjusted in order to make the overall difficulty match up with the current generation. You'll actually be able to adjust difficulty, with Meguro saying that newcomer players as well as players of the original will be able to enjoy themselves.
On the presentation side, you'll find easier access to synthesis skills, on-screen display of demon feelings, and the display of a move timeline thanks in part to the added room from the wide screen format. You'll also see presentational changes outside of battle. When moving about the areas of play, your party status and a mini map will be shown.
The remake will feature new illustration work from Shigenori Soejima. Meguro noted that during the original's development, Soejima created character images by consulting Kazuma Kaneko's original designs. For the new version, he's keeping the original designs in mind while creating the new illustrations. Meguro feels that the game's artwork gives the taste of a pre-Persona 3 Soejima.
During conversation scenes and in battle scene cut-ins, you'll see redone artwork from the game's art staff. Seojima is supervising this work.
The game's music is seeing arrangements. Among the changes mentioned by Meguro is the use of actual guitar instruments. Players will be able to switch between the original and arranged version in the config menu. Music will be getting the spotlight in the game's bonus item, a mini soundtrack featuring new and old music along with original arrangements from Meguro.
One thing that won't be changing too much for the sequel are voices. The original voices are being remastered, but there won't be any re-recording. Meguro explained that while they looked into recording new voices, they decided against this due to some of the original's voice actors having retired.
Famitsu.com has a first look at the PSP version, with screens and character profile pics, some of which you see in this story.
The site also got a first look at the game's new intro. View it at Famitsu.com or stream here:
The intro has was created by Satellite, a studio that worked on the Macross F movie. As with the music, the game will also include the original opening.
It looks like a remake of Eternal Punishment has a good chance of following Innocent Sin into the PSP. According to Meguro, Atlus was originally hoping to do a simultaneous remake of EP, but this idea was tossed because getting both to fit on the UMD would have been impossible. While nothing has been decided for an EP remake at present, Meguro said he'd really like to do it.
As for Innocent Sin, PSP owners can look forward to the remake some time this Winter. Development is currently 90% complete.